As a follow up to the news that a prominent farmworker organizer was detained we are now able to make public that it was Carlos Cardona, the Alianza Agrícola co-founder and co-president and a dairy worker in our area for over 10 years.
On the evening of Thursday, August 30th, Carlos was pulled over by Attica police and turned over to Border Patrol for not having a valid driver’s license. He is now being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, NY, facing deportation and separation from his three-year-old daughter and wife. Carlos is a prominent organizer with Alianza Agricola and part of the statewide campaign Green Light Driving Together, an effort to expand access to driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. He is originally from Guatemala and has been living in the United States with family for a decade.
The day Carlos was detained, August 30th, was also his daughter’s 3rd birthday. Rather than joy and celebration, the family was torn apart, her father criminalized for nothing other than coming to the U.S. to work hard and provide for his family. Ironically, that same day was the NYS Fair’s themed “Dairy Day” and Carlos’ boss was in Syracuse with dairy farmers from across the state celebrating the industry.
The irony doesn’t stop there. Today is Labor Day, and members from the Alianza Agricola and thousands of other undocumented immigrant workers are in the milk parlors and in the fields working long shifts in the extreme heat and without any overtime or vacation pay as if it were just any regular day. In an interview with Carlos from detention last night, he reminds us, “we’re not complaining about that. We just want to be able to get a license to be able to drive if we need to go to the doctor or so that we can buy fresh healthy food each week.” Carlos isn’t a criminal. His only “crime” was to come to the U.S. to work hard and help provide for his family. There are two ways you can help: 1) support them through the nightmare they are experiencing and donate funds for the legal and other expenses this will incur for his family, and 2) demand executive action from Governor Cuomo to expand licenses to all immediately and stop the deportation pipeline that is separating NY’s immigrant families simply because they don’t have an NYS ID.
Please donate to this GoFundMe Page that has been set up to support his wife and child: http://bit.ly/familysupportneeded.
In addition to financial support for his family, we are expecting that if Carlos is able to be released on bond it will be set at the exorbitant price of $10,000. Any donations that you can give are very much appreciated – as well as sharing with your family/friends/networks.
And thank you to all who have already donated and shared this campaign! Almost $2,500 has been raised by 50 people in just two days!